to have been a vast elephant, but the just directors, designing to give the audience the full weight of one for their money, made it so heavy, that at the prova it broke through the stage. It was to have carried twenty soldiers, with Monticelli on a throne in the middle. There is a new subscription begun for next year, thirty subscribers at two hundred pounds each. Would you believe that I am one ? You need not believe it quite, for I am but half an one; Mr. Conway and I take a share between us. We keep Monticelli and Amorevoli, and to please Lord Middlesex, that odious Muscovita ; but shall discard Mr. Vaneschi. We are to have the Barberina and the two Faussans; so, at least, the singers and dancers will be equal to anything in Europe.
Our Earl ® is still at Richmond: I have not been there yet; I shall go once or twice; for however little inclination I have to it, I would not be thought to grow cool just now. You know I am above such dirtiness, and you are sensible that my coolness is of much longer standing. Your sister2* is with mine at the Park; they came to town last Tuesday for the opera, and returned next day. After supper, I prevailed on your sister to sing, and though I had heard her before, I thought I never heard anything beyond it; there is a sweetness in her voice equal to Cuzzoni's25, with a better manner.
I was last week at the masquerade, dressed like an old woman, and passed for a good mask. I took the English liberty of teasing whomever I pleased, particularly old Churchill. I told him I was quite ashamed of being there till I met him, but was quite comforted with finding one person in the room older than myself. The Duke20, who
23 His father, the Earl of Orford.
24 Mary Mann, afterwards married to Mr. Foote. Walpole.
25 Francesca Cuzzoni, d. 1770.
26 Of Cumberland, Walpole.